The Lives of the Cowboys
SS: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Cowpoke Toothpicks. Chew them all day and they never splinter. And now, The Lives of the Cowboys.
GK: How me and Dusty got to Hollywood is a long story. We brought in a couple hundred head of free-range cattle, grass fed, who had been conceived through consensual intercourse in a loving relationship and had never been branded with a branding iron, or given growth hormones, steroids, antibiotics, gluten, or measles vaccinations, and we sold them to a fellow named Johnny Patina who owned a production company that was in the basement of his tanning salon and photography studio on Wistful Vista Avenue. He was a man with a deep tan except around his eyes, and black hair with white roots and right after we shook hands he squirted some jelly in his hand and rubbed it. (SFX)
MS: It's a disinfectant and mood stabilizer, called Nouvelle. You want some? I'm the distributor. It's the new thing. It's huge. Here---- (SQUIRTS) Just rub it around in your hands. (SFX) That's a dollar fifteen.
GK: From me?
MS: Right. A dollar fifteen. The stuff cleanses your body from the bad karma of whoever you just shook hands with. It de-shocks your chakras. You engage people physically, you take part of their spirit, too. So touch wisely. Nouvelle. Everybody's using it now. I could give you a distributorship. Orange County. Six months and you'll be a millionaire. What do you say?
GK: Just came with the bill of sale for the cattle, Mr. Patina.
MS: Great. And you're sure they're organic----
GK: Free-range, and all the rest of it.
MS: Naturally conceived. That's very important.
GK: Absolutely. These are wild cattle that my pardner Dusty and I found in a box canyon in Arizona so they never had contact with humans before.
MS: So they were humanely raised. Free-range. Never suffered verbal abuse.
GK: No, sir.
MS: Nobody yelled at them or called them demeaning names.
GK: They may be the only cattle in America of whom that can be said.
MS: No controlling behavior on your part.
GK: Nope, just positivity and mutual support.
MS: Excellent. And they were vegans, right?
GK: The cattle were. Yes.
GK: So ---- the matter of payment.
GK: When might that occur?
MS: You mean, me pay you?
MS: How about thirty days?
GK: How about half now and the other half in thirty days?
MS: Tell you what. We'll split the difference. I'll pay you the whole thing in fifteen days. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: Why I said yes to that, I can't explain it. Dusty couldn't understand it either.
TR (DUSTY): This guy has got Crook written all over him. You give him a hundred head of cattle for fifteen days for free??? What---- did you eat Dumb Flakes for breakfast?
GK: The man is a producer, Dusty.
TR (DUSTY): So am I. I produce gas. Just like him.
GK: He's got a recording studio there. And autographed pictures of famous recording artists. This could be the big break I'm looking for. (BRIDGE) Dusty went off with the horses to stay at a ranch in the valley and I got me a room in a boarding house in Hollywood next door to a coffee shop called Brown Gold.
GK: Hi there. You make expresso in here?
PP: That wasn't me clearing my throat, cowboy. What you want? Latte? Cappucino?
GK: What's the difference?
PP: Cappucino's got more air in it.
GK: And what's the difference between latte and just plain coffee?
PP: About two bucks.
GK: Gimme a plain coffee then.
PP: You got it. (POURING)
SS (OFF, DRAMATICALLY): I don't think we should leave the car, Joey. I don't like the looks of that farmhouse. It's so dark.
GK: Who's the lady over there in the corner?
PP: She's got an audition today.
SS (OFF, DRAMATICALLY): Someone's looking at us from behind that upstairs curtain. I swear, Joey. The curtain just moved.
GK: Is she crazy?
PP: Compared to what? What's the baseline here?
FN: Excuse me. When was your last hair styling?
GK: Well, I cut my hair myself. Out on the trail. With a post hole digger.
FN: I didn't want to say it but I thought that might be the case. You know, I could do so much with your hair if you'd just come up to the salon ----we'll give you a salt scrub, a conditioning soak with mud compresses, a scalp massage, and then the styling, and I'll go after those eyebrows with a clippers.
LT: You get your cotton-pickin hands off that man's eyebrows. You pluck those eyebrows and I will pull your fingernails out with a pair of pliers, one by one.
FN: Well, who are you????
LT: I am his publicist, Mercedes Detroit.
GK: You are? Wow.
FN: Well, excuse me for trying to do a man a favor. Hmmph.
GK: Hi. So your name is Detroit----
LT: I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy. Listen. You have arrived in this town at exactly the right time. You are in demand. Authenticity. Almost extinct here. You've got it written all over you. Those enormous eyebrows. They're the size of fruit bats. And I am going to get you work like you wouldn't believe.
GK: I never had a publicist.
LT: Listen to me. Everyone in this town has a publicist. Your periodontist has a publicist. Parking lot attendants have publicists. Bus drivers.
GK: What do publicists do?
LT: We maintain positivity. Stay positive!! That's the secret of success. And here I am. And do I have an opportunity for you. There are a thousand actors who would kill with their bare hands for this. A chance at a starring role in a musical about social media. Called THE BOOK OF FACES.
GK: The Book of Faces?
LT: It's going to be huge.
GK: So it's not a cowboy role?
LT: It's still in development. Anything can happen.
GK: And it's a musical?
LT: It's fantastic. It's the story of a love triangle between Harry and a girl he sees online and her best friend who is also his roommate. You read music?
GK: Yeah. Sort of.
LT: Here. Sing this. -----
Tip toe to your laptop, turn your browser
To your ISP, come
Tip toe thru Facebook with me
If you like me won't you click me
See a picture of my physiognomy
And tiptoe through Facebook with me
PP: You want to know the truth, Cowboy?
PP: I just don't think you're right for the part. They're looking for a Ben Affleck. You've been Affleck but it was a long time ago.
LT: Don't listen to her. All you need is a decent headshot. I've seen parking lot attendants with better headshots than you. And you need to start hanging out with famous people. You know any famous people?
GK: I know Kathryn Altman.
LT: Well, that's a start.
MS: Did I hear someone mention Kathryn Altman?
LT: Well, if it isn't Mr. Patina.
MS: Hey---- I see you've met my cowboy friend there-----
LT: Meet him? I'm his publicist. Any offers you have, just go through me from now on.
GK: So you two know each other----
LT: Johnny is the executive producer of "The Book of Faces".
MS: Listen, I've got a wonderful part for you in a musical. They're doing James Joyce's Ulysses as a western. It's going to be huge. Hand me that guitar. (CLUNK) Listen to this.
(MS SINGS, TO "STREETS OF LAREDO")
As I walked out in the streets of old Donegal
As I walked out with those Donegal boys
I saw in a bookstore an enormous chronicle
And it was Ulysses by Mr. James Joyce.
And this is the story of Ulysses,
Life is a voyage and it isn't for sissies.
You do what you must and make your mistakes
And at the end they give you a wake.
Some things end and others begin again
And now let us go and sing to old Finnegan.
GK: We're not doing "The Book of Faces"?
MS: Well, we discovered that Facebook has hundreds of lawyers on their payroll, all of them wearing sneakers and hoodies, and they're looking for things to do and they thought they'd enjoy going to court with us.
LT: Well, let's not get all down in the dumps. Positive!!! Stay positive!!!
GK: How about the James Joyce musical?
MS: As soon as we get permission from his estate, we're set to go.
PP: Listen. I have an idea!
LT: Oh boy.
PP: I've been writing a musical of my own. It's called "Nutrients". It's about gardening.
A time to mow, a time to rake
A time to mulch for goodness sake
A time to get a new lawn hose
A time to see how our garden grows.
MS: Are there people in it? Is there a story?
PP: There's a woman named Lady Chatterley and she falls in love with her gardener.
LT: Sounds familiar somehow.
PP: There's quite a bit of nudity but mostly it's about plants. With a big garden party at the end.
On the sundeck, the redwood sundeck, a few good friends of mine.
On the table, the redwood table, a bottle of white wine.
Chard-o-nay o-chard-o-nay o-chard-o-nay o-chard-o-nay
o-chard-o-nay o-chard-o-nay o-chard-o-nay.
Chard-o-nay o-chard-o-nay o-chard-o-nay o-chard-o-nay
o-chard-o-nay o-chard-o-nay o-chardonnay.
It is June, the people gather for neighborly friendship
On the sundeck, handmade trays of vegetables and dip.
Crud-i-te o-crud-i-te o-crud-i-te o-crud-i-te
o-crud-i-te o-crud-i-te o-crudite.
On the sundeck, in Santa Monica, women come and go
Talking about chakra cleansing and shows on HBO.
Wee-ooh crème brulee, crème brulee, crème brulee
crème brulee, crème brulee, crème brulee
crème brulee, crème brulee, crème brulee (FADES UNDER)
TR (DUSTY): You think we'll ever get paid for those cattle, Lefty?
GK: Well, I left him our forwarding address so he can send the check. Lefty and Dusty, care of General Delivery, Searchlight, Nevada.
TR (DUSTY): Why Searchlight, Nevada?
GK: Why not Searchlight, Nevada.
TR (DUSTY): Where is Searchlight, Nevada?
GK: That's what we're going to find out.
SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS......brought to you by Cowpoke Toothpicks......the toothpick that stands up to heavy usage and won't break into splinters.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).